Here are this weekend's best bets in nightlife, museums, theater, comedy and much more around the Washington area.
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Through Saturday: Brian Posehn, doing three nights at Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse, is much nerdier than you are. The actor, writer and comedian, who has a new stand-up special, "Criminally Posehn," cried during the new "Star Wars" movie and wrote "Deadpool" for Marvel Comics long before you heard of the masked movie vigilante. He's a funny dude, and let's face it, we could all use a laugh or two. The shows are Thursday at 7:45 p.m., Friday at 7:30 and 10 p.m. and Saturday at 7 and 10 p.m., and tickets are $25.
Through Saturday: As a writer and actor, Joe Mande, at Drafthouse Comedy this weekend, has been making audiences laugh for years, penning jokes for such shows as “Parks and Recreation,” “The Kroll Show” and “Master of None,” while also appearing on “Parks” as Internet advocate Morris Lerpiss. That’s enough for him to claim the “Drake of Comedy” title — he even called this run of stand-up gigs the Autumn Sixteen Tour, a play on the Canadian rapper’s Summer Sixteen Tour. His stand-up shows start Thursday at 7 p.m., Friday at 8 and 10 p.m. and Saturday at 7 and 9 p.m., and tickets are $25.
Through Sunday: Tis the season? Well, it's close enough for Ford's Theatre, whose "A Christmas Carol" annual production opens this weekend. And this year, there's a twist: Actor Craig Wallace is subbing for Edward Gero, who has played Ebenezer Scrooge since 2009. (Gero is preparing to reprise his role as Antonin Scalia in "The Originalist.") "A Christmas Carol" runs through Dec. 31, and tickets are $22-$105.
Through Sunday: Filmmaker Will Braden, creator and curator of the Internet Cat Video Festival, has transitioned that project into the CatVideoFest, which screens this weekend at AFI Silver. So if you can't stop laughing at videos of cats doing ridiculous, seemingly demented things, grab your tickets fast. (These screenings at AFI have typically sold out in the past, and they raise money for local animal welfare organizations.) The 80-minute reel of feline entertainment screens Thursday at 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. Tickets are $8-$13.
Through Sunday: Cider Week Virginia continues through the weekend with events throughout Northern Virginia and the District, including cider tap takeovers at Del Ray Pizzeria and the Wharf at Alexandria; Foggy Ridge Cider Flights at the Dabney; Potter's Cider tastings at Glen's Garden Market on Sunday and at Whole Foods in Fair Lakes and Alexandria on Saturday; and the Alexandria Cider Festival at the Lyceum on Saturday. For more events and information, go to ciderweekva.com.
Thursday: The point of a museum after-hours party is to get people who might not otherwise visit (i.e. young people) to check out new and permanent exhibits. But anyone attending the "Into the Blue" party at the National Portrait Gallery will be forgiven for skipping the daguerreotypes exhibition in favor of dancing to Junior Boys' soulful disco and electropop, sipping cocktails from McClellan's Retreat and the Riggsby, and partaking of an open bar. (Oh, you should visit the opening of "Bill Viola: The Moving Portrait," the museum's first show dedicated to video art.) The party runs from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. and tickets are $50.
Friday: Last month, a team from Columbia Heights' Acre 121 flew to Colorado to make a beer with New Belgium Brewing. The result is a limited-edition golden ale brewed with 300 pounds of fresh wet hops. Get a first taste of Wet HopNation (Without Representation) at Acre 121, where you'll be able to try other New Belgium beers — including Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough — and a portion of proceeds will benefit DC Vote. Doors open at 5 p.m., and local rock bands the Perfectionists and Fellowcraft take the stage at 10.
Friday-Sunday: When he finally decided to become an artist in his 40s, Gene Davis went big, painting perfect, colorful stripes of all sizes on wide canvases. "Gene Davis: Hot Beat" at the Smithsonian American Art Museum showcases 15 1960s pieces from the famed Washington Color School artist, including “Dr. Peppercorn,” above, and “Raspberry Icicle.” A few of the works by Davis, who died in 1985, have not been on public display for decades. The exhibition runs through April 2 and admission is free.
Friday-Sunday: Ivo van Hove won a best director Tony Award for his interpretation of Arthur Miller’s “A View From the Bridge,” which opens at the Kennedy Center this weekend. (The play also took home the award for best revival.) Post theater critic Peter Marks called this Broadway production of one of Miller’s masterpieces “simply staggering,” while also placing van Hove “among the most revolutionary theater makers of our time.” The play follows Brooklyn longshoreman Eddie Carbone, whose strong feelings for his niece take him and his family down a dark path. The play runs through Dec. 3, and tickets are $45-$149.
Friday-Sunday: With "Moby Dick" at Arena Stage, Chicago's Lookingglass Theatre Company takes the story to the sky — its actors got circus training for the production, directed and adapted from Herman Melville’s 1851 novel by David Catlin. So there will be swimming, swinging, climbing, leaping and harpooning from tall, bent-steel pipes that form the ship and ribs of the great white wale. "Moby Dick" runs through Dec. 24 and tickets are $40-$110.
Saturday: You don't have to be Finnish to enjoy the five-decade-old Finnish Christmas Bazaar, which returns to River Road Unitarian Church in Bethesda this weekend. Heck, you don't even have to enjoy holiday shopping, though the marketplace is packed with Finnish knitware, tableware and crystal, as well as the occasional gnome. But you should have a taste for strong coffee, warm glogg and sweet seasonal pies and pastries, because the holiday cafeteria is not to be missed. But don't just take our word for it: Ambassador Kirsti Kauppi is set to officially open the event at 11 a.m. The bazaar is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and admission is free.
Saturday: My Morning Jacket singer and songwriter Jim James plays the Warner Theatre, touring in support of his new solo album, "Eternally Even." Expect to hear all of the tracks from the psychedelic soul record, a few songs from his 2013 album, "Regions of Light and Sound of God," as well as a Leonard Cohen tribute or two. The concert starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $33.
Saturday-Sunday: You can explore the world this winter during the annual “Ice!” installation at National Harbor. The “Christmas Around the World” theme will take visitors through icy illuminated interpretations of holiday traditions in Germany, Mexico, Britain and other countries. There also will be ice slides — for adults and kids — as well as a parade of toys and ice-carving demonstrations. "Ice!" runs through Jan. 1 and tickets are $16-$36.
Sunday: The renovated East Wing of the National Gallery, home to a vast modern art collection, has been getting most of the attention of late. But the West Building still is ready to show off a few new tricks: Witness "Stuart Davis: In Full Swing" at the National Gallery, a traveling exhibition of the American modernist painter’s visionary — and instantly recognizable — work, featuring more than 100 pieces from the last five decades of his career. His colorful canvases pop with elements of cubism, jazz and advertising, while sometimes recasting everyday household items, such as with his “Egg Beater” series from the late 1920s. The exhibition opens Sunday and runs through March 5, and admission is free.
Sunday: As part of the ongoing “Wonder of Will” celebration, the Grammy Award-winning vocal group Roomful of Teeth comes to the Folger Theatre to sing a variety of pieces, many inspired by the works of William Shakespeare. Most notably, the Folger commissioned Pulitzer Prize-winning musician Caroline Shaw, a Roomful of Teeth singer, to write a song for the performance: “The Isle” delves into Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” creating the sounds of Caliban and Prospero’s island. The performance starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $25-$75.
Note: With so much going on this weekend, there are a handful of sold-out events featuring bold-face names that I didn't include in the roundup: Mitski at Black Cat on Friday; and Loretta Lynn at the Lincoln Theatre, Louis C.K. at Constitution Hall and Trevor Noah with Sen. Cory Booker at Sixth and I on Saturday. But if you still need and want tickets, you can find most of those events on the secondary market.